05 January 2012

Making Plans

Despite it being roughly the same size as our old house or, perhaps, because we've consolidated the contents of the "wee hoosie" in Scotland and of two storage sheds with what we had in that Other House, this farmhouse feels like 15 pounds of potatoes stuffed into a ten pound sack. We are, slowly, weeding out unloved and irrelevant possessions (books, even!) and creating better organizational systems in our limited storage spaces.

All that work, however, will not give Mr. Fuzzy a proper photographic workspace so we committed ourselves to building a teaching studio and guest house last spring. Our plan to have it serviceable by a September 2011 workshop disintegrated under the poor care of our first architect.

We selected a new architect in October and gave him a three page list of design criteria, our overall budget, and a size limitation that would create a good fit with our "existing built landscape." The third attempt at a plan arrived just before Christmas and few of our criteria have been met. This is the current plan:

Look at all that wasted space! Behold the weirdly shaped bedroom! The designers of No. 18 Trump Place in NYC would be proud but the Fuzzys are not cool with odd shapes. I, especially, am terribly old fashioned that way. I like rectangles. And... it's still longer than the site can comfortably handle.

So, we've taken the matter upon ourselves and I have added architectural design to my "homesteading skill set." We've been playing cut-and-paste (above) with the drawings for several days now. Mr. Fuzzy is working through some ideas for the studio but I think I have a good plan drawn up for the appartmento, greenhouse, and cellars. The idea is to have a "cottage" that guests can enjoy but which we could comfortably live in if downsizing is required due to mobility or resource concerns. Having our own Cosco In The Ground is another priority project for me and connecting it to the cottage seemed ideal.

That's my much-revised plan. It's about 9 feet shorter than the original with cellars accessible from outside and the kitchen. Visually, it's completely bermed on the cellar side and graded along the big bedroom wall to allow for a code-required exterior escape route. From the driveway it simply doesn't exist. Many ideas were borrowed from traditional houses I saw in Sighnaghi including the placement of the cellars and windows inside the living space. Perhaps I should enquire about the requirements for a Georgian wine cellar? At any rate, I'm rather proud of my hobbit-hole "back" entry, the second bedroom / office, and proper kitchen.

Once Mr. Fuzzy has determined the studio layout we will meet with our architect to discuss what structural issues we may have created for ourselves. If all goes well, I remain hopeful that our friend Lailae (and her humans) will be able to enjoy this private space when she visits us this autumn.

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